The Landscapes of Oman: Nature | Culture | Place
About the talk
The landscapes of Oman are at once beguiling, surprising and breathtaking. While intimately known to the people who have lived in this corner of Arabia for untold millennia, the landscapes of Oman slowly reveal their secrets – some of them, at least – to those willing to slow down, observe and experience nature, culture and place in this most fascinating of countries.
Following a brief introduction to his unique experience and expertise in the allied disciplines of landscape architecture and world heritage conservation, Senior Landscape Architect and World Heritage Advisor Andrew Anderson will guide a three-part introduction to the landscapes of Oman from the perspective of multi-disciplinary collaboration and research.
Part One: Nature will provide an overview of the natural heritage of Oman, introducing the audience to everything from meadows of Persian wildflowers high atop one of the most seismically active areas of the Middle East, to the drip-drip-drip of the monsoon-influenced seasonal cloud forest of Dhofar and the complex hydrology that supports unique plant communities with African roots in Arabian soil.
Part Two: Culture consists of an introduction to the cultural heritage of Oman, taking the audience on a visual and olfactory tour that starts in the Straits of Hormuz and ends at the Yemen border. Both tangible and intangible heritage will be presented.
Part Three: Place will discuss the cultural landscapes of Oman and introduce the collaborative approach to research that has formed the basis of Andrew’s research in the country. Emphasis will be on organically evolved and relict cultural landscapes.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Geosciences.
About the speaker
A firm believer in the power of multi-disciplinary collaboration and its ability to facilitate wonder, inspire creative problem-solving and affect change, Andrew was the first landscape architect to obtain a UNESCO Master of Science in World Heritage Management (University College Dublin, 2011). He has nearly 25 years of experience designing, managing and conserving landscapes worldwide.
In addition to lecturing at the University of Guelph, University College Dublin and the German University of Technology in Oman, Andrew has practiced landscape architecture in both the private and public sectors in Canada, the United States, Ireland and the Middle East.
Andrew ramped up the adventure in his life in 2011 when he took a leap of faith and accepted the position of Senior Landscape Architect at the Oman Botanic Garden in Muscat, Oman. He has since been involved extensively in multi-disciplinary field work researching the native plants, people and landscapes of Arabia while learning just enough about the geology, anthropology, archaeology and paleoecology of the region to be dangerous. He now consults internationally and conducts research into cultural landscapes.
Andrew is a reviewer of world heritage nomination dossiers for the Canadian government, IUCN and ICOMOS. A member of the ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes, he is a contributing author for an upcoming book on Cultural Landscapes (Routledge). In the meantime, he is spending some time re-acquainting himself with the maple-flavoured landscapes of his youth in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. He starts his doctoral research in Germany in the new year.